Power Forward: Tim Duncan, 2000-02
If choosing Pop as this all-time team's coach wasn't a "duh"-invoking selection, then this may do it. But let's indulge ourselves in this conversation one more time. There aren’t enough good words in the English dictionary to describe Tim Duncan— if you’re reading this, you know that already. In Jonah’s piece, he called Dirk “one of the Spursiest non-Spurs ever,” and I’d have to agree wholeheartedly. This was the most respectful rivalry of all time; both Tim and Dirk were consummate competitors, the definition of perfect teammates, and currently sit as the best two power forwards of all time.
Duncan came into the league and was immediately in the MVP conversation. He was nearly that good almost 20 years later when his career came to an end. However, he was most dominant in the early 2000s— in the stretch that I chose as his “peak,” Timmy averaged an insane 15 win shares per season and made the All-NBA First Team, the All-Star team, and the All-Defensive First Team in all three years. Oh, and he went for a deep playoff run each year, winning one title.
I LOVE Nowitzki. He is without a doubt my favorite non-Spur ever. For all of Duncan’s defensive ability, Dirk would still get shots up on him. However, Timmy gave Dirk fits nearly every time they played. I’m giving the advantage to The Big Fundamental. Spurs edge closer, 3-2 Rivals.